Posted by: sewsirius | September 30, 2013

Who would want to sew their own wardrobe and why?

I’ve been sewing over 40 years since I was 7 years old. I progressed from sewing toys and dolls, to dolls clothes and then my own clothes. During my teen years I would go to Nottingham Victoria Centre Market and make my purchases of fabric, then my mum would get me the notions from the haberdashery shop she worked in and then I’d sew my new clothes over the weekend. I was using Burda magazines back then and I was having a good time making unique clothes that were on the cutting edge of fashion (usually a year ahead of the UK fashions at that time!) and all within my pocket money budget! I wanted to make everything that I wore, but never mastered lingerie.

Forty years later and I nailed bra making. Admittedly I took a course (lasted one day but so worth it!) and later took a brief making course. Now I was armed with the skills to finally have my own handmade wardrobe! But where should I start? What should I base my key pieces on? What pieces should I devote my precious time on? I looked for the answers on Amazon (there’s so many books out there surely there’s one about making all your own clothes?) but while there’s lots of books about buying clothes to make the perfect wardrobe there’s zero about sewing these garments and importantly putting them together! This is how this book came to be written…I can’t be the only one who is looking for this kind of information! I have the majority of the content of this book on my blog where I have been able to put out this information for others to read, review and make suggestions. You can find everything there…which is the reason I have chosen to only charge the minimum I can for the purchase of this book. For those readers who want to have access off line or make notes, highlights etc.

This blog was started after I made the decision to have a goal that everything in my wardrobe was to be made by me within the next 18 months. I have 457 days left to go until my deadline of 1st January 2015.

Who would want to make all their clothes?

People who sew (I really don’t like the term sewer reminds me of drains!) make clothes for a variety of reasons. They want to make a garment or outfit for a special event or to try out new skills or even just because they fell in love which a particular fabric. But how do these projects fit into the rest of your wardrobe? With the exception of weddings, proms and other unusual or periodic events, the sassy sewist (my preferred name along with sewologist!) would be looking at how their work will fit in with their current clothes. It seems simple. Maybe it is for some people but I have to admit that once I’m in a fabric shop and the smell of all the different types of fabric hits my nose something short circuits in my brain that bypasses this logical step! So I buy that olive green wool blend and the teal silk without a though about what they would work well with or even when would I wear them. So then when sense returns (usually after a week or two!) these gorgeous fabrics languish in my ever growing fabric stash! Patterns are just as bad…I look at the perfect model wearing that closely fitting suit and think I could make that in a weekend…only to find I have to make numerous adjustments and sometimes even find that it doesn’t even suit my body shape at all!

My personal reason for making my own clothes is that I want a perfect fit as well as luxurious fabrics along with designer label clothes without taking out a second or third mortgage! Vogue patterns has several top designers providing designer fashion to the home sewist. Imagine owning a Donna Karan garment in a fabric and colour that suits and fits you perfectly and that no one else has got? You made it, it’s unique to you! Imagine investing in a gorgeous silk fabric that feels like heaven on your skin. Imagine making your own lingerie set in this fabric, imagine how it feels? Lingerie is one area where it’s possible to buy really luxurious fabrics for little cost as they require only 1-2 meters or yards to make a set. I have always had difficulty getting ready to wear trousers to fit. I also have short legs in comparison to the rest of my body. I’m also on a healthy eating program now and all my current clothing favourites are way too big…I’m starting from scratch!

I also want to do this project for me…it’s a personal goal and is difficult to reason why except that this is something I’ve been working towards most of my life. Unfortunately most of my friends and colleagues don’t understand that it’s not that I can’t afford to buy ready to wear, it’s that ready to wear doesn’t fit right. I’m also a bit of a quiet rebel and like to personalise my clothes in ways that make me feel good. I won’t be a slave to the store buyer who say I have to wear black this season! I won’t be a slave to whatever the catwalks provide as inspiration each fashion show. However, if I want to be inspired by a particular look I have the freedom to add to my own collection a piece (or pieces!) that I like.

Your own reasons maybe similar or very different. I currently live in the Middle East where it’s difficult to find Western clothing that is different from what the major stores are selling. Anything else is either way too small (Philipino size) or shapeless abayas! I plan to possibly move to the Philippians when I leave here so finding Western clothes that fit will only get more difficult. Western clothing is also more expensive to purchase here and in the Philippians so making my own clothes is also helping my budget! Maybe you prefer skirts that are longer or shorter than those found in the shops? Maybe the colours this season make you look drained instead of enhancing your natural colouring? Maybe you like romantic style clothes, but all you can find are suits locally? There are as many reasons as there are sewists. Whatever your reason I hope that my journey will help you on yours?



  1. Hi, I’ve added you to the blog roll – I’ll do a post tomorrow on how to add the button to your sidebar. Looking forward to seeing what you make and enjoy blogging 🙂

    • As you can see I managed to follow your post and got the button onto my blog…I was so excited at first I thought it hadn’t worked because I was doing it on my iPad, but when I checked everything out later there it was! Thanks for your help…

  2. You just introduced yourself to a lot of new online friends who perfectly understand your reasons for sewing! Have you read the Goodbye Valentino blog? It even has a group page for RTW fasters!

    • Looked at Goodbye Valentino and I’m so impressed by her work, I only had time between shifts to check out her latest post, but I will look more closely later this week and find the group you mentioned I would love to connect with like minded sewists wanting to leave RTW behind! Thanks for mentioning this site…

  3. Awesome article.

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